J'can ambassador kicks off Marley Day in Beijing
Having arrived in Beijing just days before, the Jamaican ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Fay Pickersgill, was on hand to officially launch Bob Marley Day 2016 on Saturday in commemoration of Marley's birthday.
"Bob Marley's influence is timeless and boundless!" said an excited Pickersgill. "It is timeless because it is now 35 years since his death and he was only 36 when he died, yet his memory continues to live in the hearts and minds of thousands across the globe. It is boundless because he is celebrated in just about every country in the world. I am delighted to know that the spirit of one of Jamaica's greatest legends has not been forgotten, but is instead treasured and revered."
The impact of his music was visible in the audience, with people hailing from China, Ethiopia, Zambia, Burundi, Finland, USA, and Hungary, just to name a few.
Participants were treated to a live performance by the One Drop Band as members gave their rendition of some of Marley's biggest hits, including One Love, Trench Town Rock and I Shot the Sheriff, among others.
Established in 2012, One Drop is a reggae band that plays a variety of roots and lovers rock reggae while promoting a greater appreciation of the genre in China and Asia at large. Lead guitarist Parat Alimjam was born and raised in the autonomous region of Xinjiang Uygur in China and is a staunch lover of reggae
Samuel Ahadu, one of the main promoters of the February 6th event, has been instrumental in promoting Bob Marley Day in China for the past 16 years.
"Jamaica is a small place in terms of population and size, but In terms of culture, music, sports and the cultural impact in the world, Jamaica is a heavyweight!" said Ahadu.
Ambassador Pickersgill wasted no time in beginning her official duties immediately and was pleased to participate in the launch.
"I am willing to assist in any way possible to promote Jamaica. I was amazed that the people involved in promoting Bob Marley in Beijing were not even from Jamaica. We have cultural ambassadors from all over the world and this really is heartwarming," she said.
Since 2008, Pickersgill served as the president of the Jamaica-China Friendship Association and was also a council member for the Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and the International University of the Caribbean. Prior to assuming her current role, She was the longest-serving director of tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board.